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Tipsheet

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal on DC Representation in Congress

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The Supreme Court on Monday decided against hearing a case from Washington, D.C. residents, who are lobbying for representation in Congress.

The bench affirmed a ruling from a lower court stated D.C. residents are not entitled to voting representation in the House of Representatives.

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In a brief unsigned order Monday, the justices cited a Supreme Court decision from 2000, which concluded that the constitution does not require that D.C. must have a right to a vote in Congress.

The District's delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is not given a vote on the House Floor.

She said in a statement that while she is "deeply disappointed" by the court’s ruling, it "has no bearing on D.C. statehood, which would give D.C. residents not only voting representation in Congress but full control over their local affairs."

"In 2016, D.C. residents voted overwhelmingly for statehood, the House has twice passed my D.C. statehood bill since June 2020, we have record support for D.C. statehood in the Senate and we have never been closer to D.C. statehood," she continued.

The case came in 2018 when a group of D.C. residents looked to overturn the District’s nonvoting status. In an effort to claim D.C. residents are not treated equally, the group highlighted that Americans residing in foreign countries are still able to vote without being state residents.

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A three-judge district court panel ruled against the D.C. residents back in March 2020 in a 59-page opinion that, like Monday's decision by the Supreme Court, cited the constitution.

"We recognize that District residents’ lack of the congressional franchise is viewed by many, even most, as deeply unjust, and we have given each aspect of Plaintiffs’ claims most serious consideration, but our ruling today is compelled by precedent and by the Constitution itself," the panel’s opinion reads.

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